About Richard Young
I am Head of Conservation Science at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. I am also Co-chair of the IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group . Like many, I work in biodiversity conservation because I am fascinated by wildlife and feel more satisfied with life when I get a dose of time in wild places. My professional life in turn has made me more aware just how important nature is to me but also (perhaps slightly more importantly!) to the future of the planet and whether or not humankind thrives or merely survives. It is of course frustrating that most of the rest of society – particularly those in power and with wealth – typically don’t see this too.
I have spent the past 15 years working on the science and action to save some of the most threatened species on earth. This might be perceived as an inherently depressing venture but I believe the opposite is the case. We have brought back multiple species from the brink of extinction to much safer numbers, demonstrating that conservation works given enough time, knowledge and often with minimal resources. People and organisations are taking action and producing impressive results on the ground – even in socially and politically challenging conditions - but we are not hearing these stories loudly enough. It is with a positive and optimistic outlook – focusing on achieved and achievable results - that we conservationists stand the best chance of convincing the rest of society it is both vital but also possible to save and restore the natural world.